Rules for doctors, pharmacists tightened in new religious discrimination bill

Sydney Morning Herald

Judith Ireland

A pharmacist could refuse to dispense contraception and a doctor could refuse to provide fertility treatment under the government’s proposed new religious discrimination laws, provided they declined to provide that particular service to all patients.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said the second draft of the religious discrimination bill, released on Tuesday, would allow doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and psychologists to conscientiously object as long as it was “to a procedure, not a person”. . . [Full text]

Texas divorce case opposes two views of child transgenders

BioEdge

Michael Cook

A bitter divorce case in Texas involving the custody of seven-year-old twin boys has turned toxic after the parents began disputing whether one of them is transgender. It has become a test case for the legitimacy of transgender medicine for children.

The father, Jeff Younger, argues that his son, James, identifies with his biological sex. The mother, Anne Georgulas, a paediatrician, argues that James is really a girl and demands that he be called Luna. . . [Full text]

UK High Court defines ‘motherhood’ in controversial transgender case

BioEdge

Michael Cook*

A trans man in the United Kingdom has lost his bid to be deemed a father on his child’s birth certificate – even though he conceived it, gestated it, and gave birth to it.

Astonishingly, it appears to be the first time that English common law has defined the word “mother”.

The would-be father, a natal female multimedia journalist at The Guardian named Freddie McConnell, was deeply disappointed by the decision and said that he plans to appeal. He complained:

“It has serious implications for non-traditional family structures. It upholds the view that only the most traditional forms of family are properly recognised or treated equally. It’s just not fair.”

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Is it ever morally permissible to select for deafness in one’s child?

Jacqueline Mae Wallis

Is it ever morally permissible to select for deafness in one’s child?

Abstract

As reproductive genetic technologies advance, families have more options to choose what sort of child they want to have. Using preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), for example, allows parents to evaluate several existing embryos before selecting which to implant via in vitro fertilization (IVF). One of the traits PGD can identify is genetic deafness, and hearing embryos are now preferentially selected around the globe using this method. Importantly, some Deaf families desire a deaf child, and PGD–IVF is also an option for them. Selection for genetic deafness, however, encounters widespread disapproval in the hearing community, including mainstream philosophy and bioethics. In this paper I apply Elizabeth Barnes’ value-neutral model of disability as mere-difference to the case of selecting for deafness. I draw on evidence from Deaf Studies and Disability Studies to build an understanding of deafness, the Deaf community, and the circumstances relevant to reproductive choices that may obtain for some Deaf families. Selection for deafness, with deafness understood as mere-difference and valued for its cultural identity, need not necessitate impermissible moral harms. I thus advocate that it is sometimes morally permissible to select for deafness in one’s child.


Wallis, J.M. Is it ever morally permissible to select for deafness in one’s child?. Med Health Care and Philos 23, 3–15 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11019-019-09922-6

Can conscientious objection lead to eugenic practices against LGBT individuals?

Toni C. Saad, Daniel Rodger

Can conscientious objection lead to eugenic practices against LGBT individuals?

Abstract

In a recent article in this journal, Abram Brummett argues that new and future assisted reproductive technologies will provide challenging ethical questions relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. Brummett notes that it is likely that some clinicians may wish to conscientiously object to offering assisted reproductive technologies to LGBT couples on moral or religious grounds, and argues that such appeals to conscience should be constrained. We argue that Brummett’s case is unsuccessful because he: does not adequately interact with his opponents’ views; equivocates on the meaning of ‘natural’; fails to show that the practice he opposes is eugenic in any non-trivial sense; and fails to justify and explicate the relevance of the naturalism he proposes. We do not argue that conscience protections should exist for those objecting to providing LGBT people with artificial reproductive technologies, but only show that Brummett’s arguments are insufficient to prove that they should not.


Saad C, Rodger D.  Can conscientious objection lead to eugenic practices against LGBT individuals? Bioethics; 2019 Feb 08